The most powerful politician in Poland has stated that the country will not accept a single refugee “because there is no mechanism that would ensure safety”.
Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the leader of Poland’s ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party, takes a strong stance on most issues. He has been very vocal about his party’s opposition to the EU’s plans to feed and house refugees. The EU recently “suggested” that countries should accept a quota of refugees, or pay €250,000 for each refugee turned away. Kaczynski is calling the move by the European Union blackmail.
Poland originally agreed to take in 7,000 Syrian refugees. 400 would be accepted this year while the remaining 6,600 refugees would be admitted over a three year period. The terrorist attacks in Brussels has caused Poland to back out of that deal. They state that they are no longer prepared to accept the refugees.
The move to reject the refugees seems to be an attempt for the Polish government to honor the will of its people. Last year thousands of Poles took to the streets to participate in anti-refugee marches that were organized by far-right nationalist movements like the National Radical Camp. Polish social media exploded with posts mirroring the anti-refugee sentiments.
The anti-refugee sentiment has enthralled the nation and even sparked violence against refugees. In november a Christian refugee was attacked in the streets of a polish city. His nose was broken and his leg injured by a gang of three polish youths.
Kaczynski and many poles view the refugees as a plague calling their influence on other European countries the “cholera in the Greek islands” or the “dysentery in Vienna”. He states that the refugees pose health risks to locals on top of the risks presented by potential terrorist attacks.
“bringing in all kinds of parasites, which are not dangerous in their own countries, but which could prove dangerous for the local populations”
Should other countries follow in Poland’s footsteps or are they being overly cautious?